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Act 3 Summary. 1. Act III: Banishment Central Issue : romantic love versus family loyalty Theme : love as a brutal emotion, leading to defiance of family, religion, & society 2. Soliloquy : a speech made to the audience, when a character is alone on stage

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1. Act III: Banishment Central Issue : romantic love versus family loyalty
    • Theme : love as a brutal emotion, leading to defiance of family, religion, & society
  • 2. Soliloquy : a speech made to the audience, when a character is alone on stage
  • Aside : a remark made to the audience, unheard by the other characters on stage Purpose: reveal what a character is really like
3. Act III, scene 1 Mercutio baits Tybalt who’s looking to duel Romeo. Romeo arrives but will not duel Tybalt because he is now his kinsman through marriage. “ I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise [understand] . . .” (3.1.67-68).
  • 4. Act III, scene 1 Tybalt is unaware of the marriage, so he rejects Romeo’s peace offering. Mercutio steps in to duel Tybalt. As Romeo tries to break up the fight, Tybalt murders Mercutio.
5. Act III, scene 1 As he is dying, Mercurtio curses both the warring families, offering: “ Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man” (3.1.96-97).
  • 6. Act III, scene 1 Irate that he has allowed his love for Juliet to make him “effeminate,” Romeo savagely avenges Mercutio’s death. Recognizing what he has done - murdered his wife’s cousin - Romeo blames his actions on fate: “ I am fortune’s fool” (3.1.134). (Remember his ominous dream?)
7. Act III, scene 1 The Prince arrives on the bloody scene and banishes Romeo from Verona, a penalty much less severe than he decreed. If Romeo is found in the city, he’ll be shot.
  • 8. Act III, scene 2 Juliet’s soliloquy : She impatiently awaits Romeo, who will come to her in secret, so they may consummate their marriage. At this point she is not aware of the murder Romeo committed.
9. Act III, scene 2 Juliet’s nurse relates to her the sad news about Tybalt at the hands of Romeo. At first Juliet is angry with Romeo, then elated that he is alive, and finally suicidal because she fears she cannot live without him.
  • 10. Act III, scene 2 The nurse assures her that Romeo, who is hiding in Friar Lawrence’s cell, will be with her tonight. Juliet asks Nurse to take a ring to Romeo, as a symbol of her undying love for him. Notice that Juliet sees no middle ground in her life. She lives with Romeo, or she will take her life.
11. Act III, scene 3 Friar Lawrence explains to Romeo that the Prince has banished him from Verona for murdering Tybalt, an act of mercy. Romeo views banishment as a punishment exceedingly worse than death.
  • 12. Act III, scene 3 Juliet’s nurse arrives at Friar’s cell. Romeo is so sickened by his actions - murdering Tybalt and destroying his marriage - that he attempts suicide. Friar scolds him for his rash, weak response, chiding him to stop whining and to act like a man.
13. Act III, scene 3 Notice that Romeo, too, sees no middle ground in his life. He lives with Juliet, or he will take his life. Friar reveals his plan to Romeo and Nurse: Romeo will sneak to Juliet’s room tonight, consummate their marriage, then escape to Mantua, until their marriage can be made public. Nurse gives Romeo the wedding ring from Juliet. His spirits lift.
  • 14. Act III, scene 4 Lord Capulet asks his wife to let Juliet know that she’ll be marrying Paris on Thursday morning. It’s currently Monday evening. Ironic: On Sunday, Lord Capulet denied Paris’ request to marry Juliet because she was too young.
15. Act III, scene 5 It is dawn. Romeo and Juliet have spent their first night together as a married couple. Juliet is reluctant to let Romeo go to Mantua, teasing him that the dawn’s light is actually the light from a meteor shower lighting the night sky.
  • 16. Act III, scene 5 Romeo replies, “I must be gone and lives, or stay and die” (3.5.11). As he departs Juliet has a premonition, “Methinks I see thee . . . as one dead in the bottom of a tomb” (3.5.55-56). Ironically, this is last time the two will see each other alive.
17. Act III, scene 5 As Romeo sneaks away, Lady Capulet enters Juliet’s room. She brings news that Thursday Paris will make Juliet a joyful bride. Juliet rejects this, instead telling her mother that if she marries, it will be Romeo, her enemy, not Paris, she will take for a husband.
  • 18. Act III, scene 5 Upon hearing this, Lord Capulet swears that if Juliet refuses this secure marriage to Paris: “ . . . you [Juliet] shall not house with me . . . hang, beg, starve in the streets, for, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee” (3.5.190-195).
19. Act III, scene 5 Juliet appeals to her mother for help, but Lady Capulet replies, “Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee” (3.5.205). Next Juliet appeals to her Nurse, who advises her to take the secure option and marry Paris.
  • 20. Act III, scene 5 Desperate, Juliet pretends to go to Friar Lawrence to make her confession. In her closing soliloquy Juliet reveals her thoughts: She no longer trusts her nurse and will not confide in her again. She’ll seek advise from Friar Lawrence. If he can not help her, she can always take her life.
21. Purpose Shakespeare has moved Juliet from childhood into adulthood, both sexually and socially. She’s exerting her independence from her nurse and her parents - central issue: romantic love versus family loyalty. He reminds his audience of an Elizabethan woman’s dependency on a man for acceptance in society.
  • 22. Purpose Once again, Shakespeare foreshadows the young couple’s suicides. He continues to portray the destruction, pain and death Romeo and Juliet’s impulsive, passionate love has brought, leaving them little joy. Finally, he has embroiled the teens in adult conflicts without the benefit of compassionate adults to guide them.
Choose from a play a scene which you find amusing or moving or disturbing.

Explain how the scene provokes this response and discuss how this aspect of the scene contributes to your understanding of the play as a whole.